U.S.

Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

J. Robert Flores, Administrator

September 2003 #05

Juvenile Court Placement of Adjudicated Youth, 1990–1999
by Charles M. Puzzanchera

In 1999, nearly one in four adjudicated delinquency cases resulted in out-of-home placement
Juvenile courts employ a variety of dispositions for youth adjudicated delinquent. Of the 639,100 adjudicated delinquency cases in 1999, 24% resulted in a judicial disposition of out-of-home placement (i.e., placement in a residential treatment center, juvenile corrections facility, foster home, or group home); 62% resulted in an order of probation; 10% resulted in some other disposition, such as restitution, fines, community service, or referral to other treatment agencies; and 4% were released at disposition without sanction.

Adjudicated delinquency cases placed out of home, 1990–1999
Number of cases 80,000 70,000 60,000 50,000 40,000 30,000 20,000 10,000 Public order Drugs Person Property

Out-of-home placement in adjudicated delinquency cases
Percent of adjudicated delinquency cases resulting in placement 1990 Total adjudicated delinquency cases Most serious offense Person Property Drugs Public order Gender Male Female Age at referral 12 or younger 13 to 15 16 or older Race White Black Other Predisposition detention Detained Not detained 32% 35% 28 36 38 33% 26 24% 33 32 30% 35 32 48% 22 1995 27% 29% 25 24 30 28% 20 16% 28 27 24% 31 28 45% 19 1999 24% 26% 23 22 27 26% 19 15% 24 26 23% 28 24 41% 17

0 1990 1991

1992

1993

1994 1995

1996

1997 1998

1999

In 1999, juveniles adjudicated for drug or property offenses were less likely to be placed outside the home than were those adjudicated for person or public order offenses. Following adjudication, placement was ordered in 22% (17,200) of drug offense cases, 23% (58,700) of property offense cases, 26% (38,100) of person offense cases, and 27% (41,200) of cases involving public order offenses, such as weapons offenses, disorderly conduct, and obstruction of justice. A relatively high proportion of public order offense cases resulted in out-of-home placement because this category included escapees from institutions and probation and parole violators.

Placement cases grew 24% between 1990 and 1999
The number of adjudicated cases that resulted in out-of-home placement rose from 124,900 in 1990 to 155,200 in 1999. The largest percentage increase was in the number of drug offense cases resulting in placement, which grew 73% from 1990 to 1999. Placement grew 56% for public order offense cases, grew 48% for person offense cases, and declined 6% for property offense

cases. The general pattern of increase in out-of-home placements followed the pattern of increase in adjudicated cases between 1990 and 1999—the number of adjudicated drug offense cases grew 187%, public order offense cases grew 119%, person offense cases grew 98%, and property offense cases grew 16%. In fact, although the number of adjudicated cases that resulted in out-of-home placement grew between 1990 and 1999, the overall proportion of cases that resulted in out-of-home placement declined from 32% in 1990 to 24% in 1999.

cases involving white youth resulted in out-of-home placement, compared with 28% of cases involving black youth and 24% involving other minority youth. Between 1990 and 1999, the number of adjudicated cases resulting in out-of-home placement increased more for white youth (31%, from 72,600 to 95,000) than for black youth (17%, from 47,300 to 55,200) or for youth of other races (–2%, from 5,100 to 4,900).
Out-of-home placement in adjudicated delinquency cases, by race
Number of adjudicated delinquency cases resulting in out-of-home placement Percent change 1990 1995 1999 1990 to 1999 White Black Other 72,600 47,300 5,100 87,200 53,700 5,900 95,000 55,200 4,900 31% 17 –2

Characteristics of adjudicated delinquency cases resulting in out-of-home placement
Percent of all placed cases 1990 1995 1999 Most serious offense Person Property Drugs Public order Gender Male Female Age at referral 12 or younger 13 to 15 16 or older Race White Black Other Predisposition detention Detained Not detained 21% 50 8 21 89% 11 5% 52 42 58% 38 4 58% 42 24% 44 9 22 87% 13 4% 53 43 59% 37 4 48% 52 25% 38 11 27 85% 15 4% 49 47 61% 36 3 53% 47

Percent change figures are based on unrounded numbers.

For further information
This Fact Sheet is based on the forthcoming Report Juvenile Court Statistics 1999, which will be available on the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP’s) Web site (www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ojjdp). To learn more about juvenile court cases, visit OJJDP’s Statistical Briefing Book (ojjdp.ncjrs.org/ojstatbb/index.html) and click on “Juveniles in Court.” OJJDP also supports Easy Access to Juvenile Court Statistics, a Web-based application that analyzes the data files used for the Juvenile Court Statistics Report. This application is available from the Statistical Briefing Book.
Charles M. Puzzanchera is a Research Assistant with the National Juvenile Court Data Archive, which is supported by an OJJDP grant. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office for Victims of Crime.

Detail may not add to 100% because of rounding.

The number of out-of-home placements increased across all racial groups between 1990 and 1999
Of the estimated 155,200 adjudicated cases in 1999 that resulted in out-of-home placement, 95,000 (61%) involved white youth, 55,200 (36%) involved black youth, and 4,900 (3%) involved youth of other races.1 That same year, 23% of adjudicated
1

Juveniles of Hispanic ethnicity can be of any race, but most are included in the white racial category.

Fact Sheet

FS–200305